I’d like to welcome to the She’s Inspired Blog, a lovely Psychologist friend, Dr. Christine Li, who has mastered procrastination to become a coach for others who are struggling to overcome the success and inspiration drain. In this short, easy read she offers 5 lessons to build your confidence in light of the habit of procrastination and she makes some simple, practical suggestions about whether to move forward or to procrastinate. Enjoy!
Procrastination is a sure-fire way to keep your confidence low or non-existent. Though we may feel we are saving ourselves from work-related stress, we inevitably bring other forms of stress upon ourselves through our delay, avoidance, and non-performance.
In my work as a Clinical Psychologist specializing in working with Procrastinators, I have seen the corrosive effects of procrastination on personal well-being. Procrastinators suffer from poor self-esteem, isolation, and problems feeling like they are agents in their own lives.[spacer height=”20px”] In my own life, I have experienced the negative effects of procrastination, as I lost many days, weeks, and years to the stress that Procrastination causes. I’m so happy now to consider myself a Procrastinator-in-Recovery, and I am grateful to be able to share some of what I’ve learned about the relationship between Procrastination and self-confidence with you.
Why is Procrastination So Toxic to Self-Confidence?
When we delay on matters that are meaningful to us, we teach ourselves that we are not important and we acquire excess feelings we didn’t bargain for, like anxiety, shame, and guilt.
When we avoid others we lose opportunities to find relief, to finish what we’ve started, to feel connected to others, to feel like we can grow.
When we procrastinate we not only fall behind in time, but also fall behind others as they continue to make progress. That gap between us and the rest of the universe seems to expand at frighteningly rapid speeds.
So How Do We Decide Whether to Go Forward or to Procrastinate?
There will be so many times in your life when you will have to decide whether to move forward or whether to stand still. I hope you’ll remember these 5 points about confidence whenever you are at those crossroads:
- Your confidence comes from within. You may seek confidence from others, but only you can grab on to the feeling and the faith of self-confidence. Confidence builds gradually, so don’t expect to feel at the top of your game just because it’s Tuesday. Use whatever amount of confidence you have now and spring forward to tackle the projects you decide are important to you. Developing and strengthening your self-confidence will boost your ability to withstand stress, to engage others, and to be at your creative best.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Your confidence grows when you move forward. When we move forward even when we don’t want to or when we fear change, we teach ourselves we can withstand stress and we can cope with our fears by bypassing them. It is a very powerful message to get. Each new interaction or movement strengthens your sense of your own ability. When you move forward consistently, you will have the benefit of a can-do attitude which will help you get things done.[spacer height=”20px”]
- We cannot wait until we are 100% confident to begin. Each of us must brave our anxieties, new ventures and new people without the benefit of iron-clad guarantees of success. Waiting until we are sure of ourselves will lead us into zones of inaction – we will wait until everything is “perfect” and will quickly learn that few circumstances (if any) feel that way. Move forward even when you are not totally ready; that energy of having to begin and to “wing it” will keep you alert and open to good ways to make it through.[spacer height=”20px”]
- Our fears are our weakest, least accurate guides towards moving forward. Fears always encourage us to stay still or to retreat. Fears promise false safety and prevent us from ever feeling truly well. Choose your other feelings, such as curiosity and excitement, as your new guides to action.[spacer height=”20px”]
- You can be confident too. Each of us has a natural capacity for action, for taking care of ourselves, and for learning the things we don’t know. Drop your negative thinking because it blocks your openness to doing and to learning new things. Don’t compare yourself to others because there is enough confidence to go around. Confidence, when activated, knows no bounds.[spacer height=”20px”]
Some Action Steps to Jump Start Your Self-Confidence[spacer height=”20px”]
I hope this post has encouraged you to take a leap into something new, even if that means finishing up something really, really overdue. That would be new!
Instead of staying inside and staring at your smartphone, try to:
- reach out to someone
- change your style (you can always go back)
- open up
- get support
- launch something new
Have faith in yourself and your spirit and keep your heart open. I can’t wait to hear what happens when you share your new attitude with the rest of us.
Dr. Christine Li is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Procrastination Coach who helps you get on with things so you can get on with your life. You can find Dr. Christine over at http://www.procrastinationcoach.com/